Massage does more than make you feel good — it can be powerful medicine, as well. There are now numerous studies showing that this therapy can have a positive effect on specific health problems, which is good news for patients who are looking for ways to improve their health without expensive and possibly dangerous medications and surgeries.
Improved Back Pain
Of course a day at the spa feels good, but does it do anything to reduce back pain over the long term? Studies show that it does. Researchers at the Group Health Research Institute found that patients receiving massages over a ten-week period were more likely to say that their pain was much improved or gone than patients who received “usual care,” which most often meant medications. The improvement lasted for over six months. This 2011 study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that patients who received this used less medication and lost fewer days at work, as well.
People with arthritis experience reduced pain when they receive massages, and also gain an increased range of motion in their joints.
Reduced Depression and Anxiety
It turns out that hands-on therapy can greatly reduce levels of the hormone cortisol, which is related to stress. Less cortisol means less anxiety for patients. Moreover, it can help depression by increasing the amounts of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and seratonin, which results in an improved state of mind. Studies show that the mind and the body are connected in complicated ways, and so the power of touch can have a powerful effect on the state of the emotions.
Strengthened Immune System
A study published in the December 2012 issue of the International Journal of Therapeutic Bodywork shows that patients with Lyme disease had a notable improvement in their symptoms – some of which are “pain, fatigue, and impairment of concentration” – after undergoing this therapy. This might be due to its effect on the immune system. Other studies show that massage can increase the levels of white blood cells, which combat infection.
Help for Migraines and Other Headaches
Migraines are especially painful headaches that can be difficult to treat without medication. But researchers have shown that patients who receive massages during the course of the headache have much improved levels of pain. This 2012 study, reported in the International Journal of Therapeutic Bodywork, shows that headache sufferers had their pain reduced by an average of almost 70%, and this was totally without the side-effects that go along with medications. Other studies have shown that tension and other types of headache also respond to this therapy.
The relaxing effects of massage can have an effect on sleep quality, too. It actually change the brain waves responsible for deep sleep, so patients who receive regular massages report longer and better-quality sleep. And better sleep means better health in general, as poor sleep is associated with a range of health problems.
So the next time you’re at the spa, tell yourself it’s not just a feel-good indulgence, but an investment in your long-term health.
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As a business woman, Arlene Barker knows how uncomfortable one can feel after sitting in an office chair day in and day out for weeks on end! That is why she trusts the professionals at Spa-In Mobile Spa. They offer the convienience of coming to your door and giving you the best swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue massage or office chair massage Toronto has to offer! Visit their website today!